Val might just have to dust off THE SCREAM. No, not the Munch painting. What do you think this is, the Museum of Modern Art, circa 2013, and Val the charwoman? No, Val might have to dust off her getting-rid-of-nuisance-phone-callers technique. The technique abhorred by The Pony, mentioned here.
One night last week, the house phone rang at 9:08 p.m.
Sure, the caller ID on my dark basement lair desk phone said RESEARCH CENTER CALL. Normally, I would not bother to answer. No need to let them know this is an active number with a reachable resident. They never leave a message. So I let it ring until the machine picks up. But not at 9:08 p.m. Some of us get up at 4:50 a.m. Sure, I'm still awake at 9:08 p.m. But Hick, who gets up at 5:30 a.m., is not. So I grabbed the phone to stop its ringing, lest Hick jump out of bed and run around to my side to get the phone, thinking it was his alarm service for work.
"Hello. This is Jennifer. I'm calling with a survey for the Pew Research Center. Do you have time to answer a few questions?"
"NO! IT IS 9:08 P.M.! DON'T EVER CALL HERE AGAIN!"
Then I hung up. How I wish for the old Bell System desktop dial phones, with the cradle for the receiver. Slamming the phone down used to be SO satisfying. As it were, I jabbed the OFF button of my Panasonic aggressively.
Yeah. I really wanted to let fly with a blood-curdling scream. It's not like Hick would have heard it from the bedroom above my office, with his breather blowing and his head under the quilt. But he WOULD have heard the phone. He has jumped up to answer it before. Just like he has ignored my pleas for help. Or maybe he was playin' possum when it came to my requests.
There oughta be a law about those survey calls. Same as telemarketers.